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Friday, September 5, 2008

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StarCraft II: Mutas Nerfed, Interviews, Hand-On Preview
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Several websites have recently posted new articles about StarCraft II, the next installment in Blizzard Entertainment's popular sci-fi real time strategy franchise. StarCraftWire has published an interview with community manager Karune and an examination of changes to the Zerg Mutalisk unit. Ars Technica is offering a hands-on preview of the game, based on time spent playing a beta version at the Penny Arcade Expo. Completing the information round up 4players.de has posted the results of an interview with Blizzard's Frank Pierce and Bob Colayco.

From StarCraftWire:

StarCraftWire.net: Will it be possible to play Starcraft II at LAN Parties?
Karune: While the idea is still there, the main focus right now is Battle.net and Multiplayer to determine whether or not LAN will be available.

StarCraftWire.net: When can we expect to see more updates to the Starcraft II official website, and what can we expect to see?
Karune: Not really sure when there will be an update to the site, although there may be misc. updates now and then for units, but otherwise waiting for closer to the Beta to really update the website.

StarCraftWire.net: Has there been a decision on what units will make it into the final game?
Karune: No real decision has been made really, we're still trying to decide what units will make the cut, as you've seen that we dropped a couple units, one of our goals may be to try to keep the unit number closer to to that of the original Starcraft as we don't want to have a unit be in the game and have it be useless to the battle.
From Ars Technica:
The Zerg, in particular, are nasty. Imagine, if you will, that you are in the woods after a summer rain. You flip over a large rock, and what you would see there—pulsing and writhing with disgusting life—that is a Zerg hive. "Creep" now moves and looks wet, and the new art makes the Zerg even more effective than before.

The new units witnessed in the demo fit that art style seamlessly, giving the impression that they were a logical evolution that occurred during the years between games. One new unit we witnessed was the Zerg queen. Now ground based, appropriately impressive looking, and centered around defensive powers (but still useful in a stand-up fight when leveled up), she'll introduce many new twists to the gameplay.

During one battle we sent one of the Terrans' new units, the Thor, up against a Queen, and the results were impressive. The Thor is a huge unit—imagine a siege tank with more assault capabilities that can also take down air units—and the battle showed off just how much more destruction and violence are visible with the game's facelift. I was also able to watch another player wipe out a Zerg hive... until burrowed Banelings showed up and completely dissolved the attacking units, grabbing quite the reaction from the watching crowd.
From 4players.de:
Karune told us at Paris about the single player- and multiplayer mode, that there are differences in animations and graphics because in the multiplayer mode things have to be faster. We want to know if there are any other changes between these two modes like costs or abilities for the units or so.
Frank Pierce: Sure. I think one thing to know is that in terms of different graphics between single player and multiplayer the higher fidelity graphics will normally be used for the purpose of storytelling. You wouldn’t necessarily see those same graphics in the actual missions where you are fighting against the AI in single player. The scourmish component of single player is going to use the same aspects as the multiplayer-version. There will just be real-time cinematic sequences that we do or interactive cinematic sequences or if we do any storytelling components in mission we will use higher fidelity graphics. As far as abilities and what not go the level designers that make the single player campaign always have the flexibility to do whatever they want to add flavor to the single player missions. So, you’ll see returning characters like from the original StarCraft story like Jim, Kerrigan and character Jim Raynor and Kerrigan and those units may be units that you use in missions or in single player and those might have unique abilities and so the level designs can do whatever they need to do to deliver the story and anything interesting.
Click over to the links provided below to check out all the articles.

StarCraftwire.net: Karune Interview
StarCraftwire.net: Mutalisk Stacking Nerfed
Ars Technica: SC 2 Hands-On Preview
4Players.de: SC 2 Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
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